drawn into scripture

Until recently, I had only been exposed to Jeremy Begbie's work through IAM conferences in NYC, where I had been completely awed by his presentations. This past Spring, I found out that my brother in law Andrew had a friend who was pursuing an M.Div. in the new "Theology and the Arts" program at Duke Divinity, and my ears perked up. So Begbie had brought his great wealth of wisdom and experience honed by writing and presenting on art/faith, and teaching at such prestigious institutions as Cambridge and St. Andrews, to my home state? When I saw that an arts exhibition was related to the upcoming conference, I submitted work. 

Fast forward to this coming Monday October 10: I will be exhibiting a selection of collages and screening my film Spirit Ship at the Arts Fair hosted by the 2011 Duke Divinity School's Convocation and Pastor's School, "Drawn into Scripture: Arts and the Life of the Church." While the conference runs both Monday and Tuesday, the Arts Fair will be happening only on Monday, from 9:30am - 5:30pm, in the Great Hall (next to Page Auditorium), on Duke's Main Campus. Dr. Begbie will speak, as well as author Marilynne Robinson, and Anthony Kelley and the BLAK Ensemble will present the "new blues", in a performance entitled "Instantaneous Infinity…or,Thinking Beyond the Page in Musical and Human Connection and Communication.”  In preparation I have been reading Begbie's book Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (2007), and I hope to pick up Robinson's Housekeeping, which I have been meaning to read for some time. 

"All streams run to the sea but the sea is not full" (Ecclesiastes 1:7).  Watercolor on 1918 Encyclopedia page. 6 1/4 x 9 3/4 inches. 2011.

The collages I will be showing will be a combination of works on paper and fabric, with the common theme of incorporating biblical text into the work. The way I use various verses from scripture might be considered "taken out of context," but that is just a way I have found of working that enables me to approach the text in a deeper way. So while I don't hope to comprehend the meaning of the Bible when only taken in fragments, I do want to be open to the Still Small Voice and how it speaks, in whispers and in the unexpected moments. 
"I will gather you," (Ezekiel 22:20). Gel medium transfer, seed, silk, thread on canvas. 2008. 7 x 5 inches.
Juxtaposing those bits of text with my images has become a visual and thought-provoking exercise that keeps me coming back to the text as a living and breathing entity. It was before this, but this act of making just gives it fuller life for me, a visual artist who needs to constantly make and remake the world, in order to understand it, to feel and to truly live.

Mental Decoy and Burlap Arms. Wire, fabric, cat scan. 2000.
I also have two very different, sculptural pieces in the current juried exhibition at the Redeemer Presbyterian Church offices, Looking for Transformation: Inner and Outer Sight.  This show runs from October through January, with an opening on October 7 at 1359 Broadway, Suite 400.